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History of diplomatic relations between Italy and Norway

Bilateral relations

In 1861, at the birth of the Kingdom of Italy, various European countries established bilateral relations by sending diplomatic representatives. Among them were the Kingdom of Sweden and Norway. King Vittorio Emanuele II appointed as his diplomatic representative to King Charles XV the Resident Minister Andrea Tagliacarne, who arrived in Stockholm on 27 March 1862, immediately after the diplomatic mission to the Netherlands, where since 1859 he had represented the Kingdom of Sardinia as Chargé d’Affaires. Accredited to the Sovereign of Sweden and Norway were subsequently Luigi Corti (1864), first as Resident Minister with letters of credence and later as Extraordinary Envoy and Plenipotentiary Minister; Luigi Rati Opizzoni (1867), Vittorio Sallier de la Tour (1871), Federico Costanzo Spinola (1879), Alessandro Tannini (1888) Alessandro Guasco di Bisio (1897), Emanuele Berti (1903) and finally Alberto De Foresta (1904), all in the capacity of Extraordinary Envoy and Plenipotentiary Minister with letters of credential. The aforementioned will be the last Italian diplomat to represent King Vittorio Emanuele II to the King of Norway and Sweden, Oscar II, as in 1905 occurred the dissolution of the Union between Norway and Sweden. Despite the fact that, according to the Statute of the Union, foreign policy was the exclusive prerogative of the King of Sweden, who exercised it through the Foreign Minister, a member of the Swedish Cabinet, Norway requested an independent consular service.

The resolution of the Storting (Norwegian National Parliament) in 1814 to establish a Norwegian consular service clashed with a refusal of ratification by King Oscar II, who interpreted it as a violation of the principle of exclusivity in the management of the Union’s foreign policy by the Crown. The resignation of the Norwegian government followed. Faced with the impossibility of forming a new one due to the unanimous refusal of all the political forces of Christiania (now Oslo), the King had “with great regret” to take note of the fact that the Union between the two countries under a common monarch had ceased to exist.

On 7 June 1905 the Norwegian Parliament passed a resolution to unilaterally dissolve the Union. The resolution was confirmed by a referendum which approved the dissolution of the Union with 208 votes in favor and 184 against. Immediately afterwards Prince Charles of Denmark, married to Princess Maud, daughter of King Edward VII of the United Kingdom, was chosen by referendum as King of Norway, ascending to the throne as Haakon VII. It is from this date that diplomatic-consular representatives will be directly accredited to the Norwegian Court.

The Kingdom of Italy was among the first to recognize Norway as an independent state and to entrust the Norwegian mission to the then Extraordinary Envoy and Plenipotentiary Minister with letters of credence in Copenhagen Giorgio Calvi di Bergolo. The same situation occurred with his successor Emanuele Berti, also with main accreditation in Denmark. Only with the new appointment of Fedele de Novellis, on 30 August 1912, the Italian diplomatic representative would actually begin to reside in Christiania, the Norwegian capital which only in 1925 would resume the ancient name of Oslo which it currently retains. From 1955 onwards, with the new appointment of Paolo Vita Finzi, accreditation at the Norwegian Court will take place with the title of Ambassador with letters of credence, thus raising the previous rank of Extraordinary Envoy and Plenipotentiary Minister.